May Hack Day

Summer's on the way!

Exciting news! It’s now been a whole year since we had the first of our monthly(-ish) hack days.

Since then we’ve hacked on Apple Watch apps, loads of open-source modules, Zapier connections, Android apps and Smart Group Actions, big refactors and super-secret stuff, chatbots and fun visualisations, and even more secret things.

Whilst the weather in London would certainly disagree, we’ve reached the end of May, which mean’s summer’s on the way! It also means it’s time for another Hack Day at GoSquared HQ. Here’s what we got up to.

Log all the things

Geoff and JT have wanted to revamp our back-end logging infrastructure for some time to make it easier for us to find issues and the like. Since AWS recently announced updates to the Amazon Kinesis Agent and automatic ingestion into Amazon Elasticsearch Service from Kinesis Firehose, this was the perfect opportunity to solve our own internal problems while at the same time experimenting with some exciting new technology.

JT set about extending Clarence to install the Kinesis Agent on our instances (easier said than done – the Kinesis Agent likes RPM-based systems and we’re an Ubuntu shop), while Geoff set up the Firehose stream and Elasticsearch domain. He also made a start on a new Node module called Watson, which will be our new logging module for apps and services going forward.

It’s early days but we’re hoping these improvements to our logging infrastructure will make it much easier for us to monitor all our systems, and diagnose issues as they arise.

More super-secret subterfuge from Ben

Ben was at the dentist on hackday but instead he decided to cheat and work on some super-secret things the evening beforehand. We can’t talk about them yet though – stay tuned. In other news, he does still have all his teeth.

GoSquared API in Swift

In previous hack days, Ed worked built some projects on iOS. For those hacks he built and used a small library for using the GoSquared API written in Swift. This month’s hack day involved focusing only on the library — tidying the codebase and writing tests. Ed hopes to open source the library on GitHub so very soon anyone can built apps with the API. Stay tuned and we’ll post here when he does!

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